Greek Food Wine Pairing

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Published October 22nd, 2022

When you think of Greece, a variety of things might come to mind. The islands with the whitewashed houses, the sea, the sunsets, the people, or even the food.

Greek food wine pairing.

From well-known street foods like souvlaki and tzatziki to traditional recipes like moussaka, Greek cuisine features a variety of ingredients that create tasteful and unique combinations. And what better drink to enjoy along with them, if not wine?

In this article we’ll talk in detail about wine pairing with food, what international and Greek wines go best with the country’s cuisine and share some of our favorite Greek food and wine recommendations, so make sure to stay with us until the end, to find out everything you need to know about wine pairing with greek food.

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Greek food: Common ingredients and pairings

Greek food makes extensive use of locally sourced products, from freshly harvested produce to cheese made in Greece. The majority of the following ingredients may be found in any Greek kitchen: Olives (and olive oil, obviously), Feta Cheese, Greek Yogurt, Herbs (thyme, oregano and rosemary are the classic ones), legumes, seasonal fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, and of course chicken and beef.

Choosing the right wine depending on the ingredients of a dish isn’t that difficult when it comes to greek cuisine, since there aren’t many heavily spiced dishes or exotic ingredients used, so the fundamentals of wine and food pairing apply.

Lighter meals like grilled chicken or a salad are going to go with white wines, and red meats or other heartier dishes are going to go with reds. For creamy dishes with a greek yogurt base or dishes with oily fish, like sardines, you’re going to need a crisp, acidic white wine to cut through the “fatty” flavors.

These are just some basic “guidelines”, but don’t worry, we’ll talk in more detail about specific Greek food and wine pairing later in the article.

Best Red Wine for Greek Food

Personally, I believe that the best Greek wine to match with Greek food, is none other than Agiorgitiko, from the famous winemaking region of Nemea. It’s a very versatile wine that can express itself very differently, depending on the winemaking conditions, but ,overall, its velvet tannins and medium acidity make it a perfect match for traditional Greek dishes.

If you’re looking for an international red wine to pair with Greek cuisine, try a Cabernet Franc. This dry, medium bodied red is a classic choice and it pairs well with Greek food.

Best White Wine for Greek Food

A must-try Greek white wine for the next time you enjoy a Greek meal, is Assyrtiko, from the island of Santorini. It’s one of the country’s top wines, and deservingly so, since it has a characteristic minerality that perfectly complements a variety of dishes, especially seafood-centered ones.

If you’re looking for an international wine, try a Riesling. This light, crisp and slightly sweet wine will complement most Greek dishes.

Greek Food Wine Pairing

Moussaka Wine Pairing.

Moussaka Wine Pairing

Moussaka is a popular eggplant/potato meal that layers thinly sliced eggplant and/or potato with minced beef or lamb. The meal is then baked, which brings out some extremely tasty flavors in each bite. If you’re looking for a wine to pair with this dish you’re looking for a red wine that isn’t very tannic, because you want your wine to bring out the flavor of the vegetables, not overpower them. Pair the fresh and juicy 2019 Crianza by Bodegas Faustino with Moussaka, to let them both shine.

Pastitsio Wine Pairing

Pastitsio is an oven baked pasta dish with minced meat and bechamel sauce, found in Greece. Usually the dish contains a tomato based sauce that needs the proper wine to balance its acidity. A perfect match for pastitsio is a classic Italian red, like the Cascina La Zebra di Volpedo, made from 100% Barbera grapes. With its lackberry, raspberry and blueberry palate, medium to full body andround tannins, it’s going to be a hit.

Greek salad wine pairing.

Greek Salad Wine Pairing

Trying to find the best match for a greek salad can be difficult, because of all the different flavors the dish contains. Tomatoes, green peppers, olives, onions, feta cheese and oregano sound like a difficult combination to match with one single wine. What you need is a crisp and vibrant white wine that can live up to the rich flavors of the ingredients. Personally, I would go for an Assyrtiko, like this 2020 one from Estate Argyros. Its acidity and minerality can definitely balance the flavors of the olives, feta cheese and tomatoes.

Greek Chicken Wine Pairing

Greek chicken is seasoned with oregano and served with an olive oil and lemon dressing, that is usually served with rice or baked potatoes. As you can guess, since this dish is on the plain side when it comes to herbs and spices, you’re going to want to match it with an unoaked white wine so that the chicken’s flavors don’t get lost. Try this 2019 Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon Candela Inspiration Unoaked Chardonnay. With its tropical fruit and Meyer lemon notes, it will compliment the chicken perfectly.

Grilled Octopus Wine Pairing

One of the simplest yet most delectable ways to cook octopus is on the grill, with a drizzle of good olive oil, a sprinkle of fine sea salt, and a touch of lemon. So, what goes well with the delicate flavor of octopus? The best option is a wine with depth, robust flavor, and enough acidity to cut through the octopus flesh. Try this Italian 2020 Piere Sauvignon Blanc by Vie di Romans to match with grilled octopus. The citrusy flavors and the noticeable but pleasant acidity of the wine will definitely leave you satisfied.

Lamb Souvlaki Wine Pairing.

Lamb Souvlaki Wine Pairing

Souvlaki is one of the most famous traditional dishes of Greece, beloved by both natives and tourists who get to taste it. If you like lamb souvlaki, you’ll definitely want to pair it with a spicy, light to medium-bodied red like a Grenache. This 2017 Côtes du Rhône Les Garrigues by Domaine de la Janasse is a perfect pair for lamb, as it has prominent spice and red fruit notes and it’s tannic enough to balance but not overpower the flavors of the dish.

Giouvetsi Wine Pairing

Giouvetsi is a slow cooked beef or chicken dish served over orzo pasta in a tomato sauce flavored with herbs and spices. I can’t think of this traditional Greek dish paired with anything but a Greek wine. Try this 2015 Idaia Gi Kotsifali and Mandilaria blend by Idaia for the full Greek experience. The wine’s high ABV (13%), aromas and tastes of ripe red fruit, oak, leather and tobacco, full body and lingering finish will easily live up to the bold flavors of Giouvetsi.

Gyros Wine Pairing.

Gyros Wine Pairing

Gyros is a popular street-food that consists of shaved pork or chicken in a pita wrap with yogurt or tzatziki, tomatoes, onions, and even fries! There are other variations of the recipe that include carrots, lettuce, or other sauces than yogurt based ones, but this is the traditional recipe. Another Assyrtiko just made the list, but I honestly believe that the 2020 Assyrtiko Santorini by Domaine Sigalas is the perfect match for gyros. It’s crisp and refreshing enough to cut through the creaminess of the yogurt based sauce while also cleansing your palate with its citrusy aromas and flavors.

Dolmades Wine Pairing

Dolmades are grape leaves that have been stuffed with rice and herbs and are typically eaten with Greek yogurt. A white wine with characteristic earthy flavors might go well with this dish. Since this dish is notoriously difficult to make, let’s make your life easier by recommending a wine that you won’t have to spend extra time searching for. Almost any Pinot Blanc wine will do, but I have to recommend the Pinot Blanc by The Four Graces. This full bodied white wine is a perfect pair for dolmades with its characteristic mineral and earthy notes and acidity.

Tzatziki Wine Pairing

Tzatziki is a delicious Greek yogurt dip made with cucumbers and garlic. Believe me when I say that I will never get tired of eating tzatziki, even if I have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I simply love it. Personally, I believe that this dip needs a complex white wine to shine. The wine must have at least some level of acidity to balance the creaminess of the yogurt and some level of sweetness to balance the garlic. The 2015 Estate Riesling by Hugel is the perfect match for tzatziki. It is semi-sweet, acidic, mineral with citrusy and stone fruit notes. Don't miss out on it.


We hope that this article has helped you get a better understanding of wine pairing with Greek food. No matter if you’re cooking for yourself or your loved ones, if you’re cooking Greek dishes we want to believe that this article has got you covered. From beef centered dishes to vegetarian ones, and from crisp white wines to bold reds, Greek cuisine offers a never ending variety of tasteful combinations. Make sure to try our recommendations and make your own food and wine pairings to discover new combinations.